Lentil and Celery Soup

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This soup is not only nutritious, but also packs a myriad of flavors and textures.

Serves four.

Ingredients

1/3 cup of dry lentils
3 tablespoons of olive oil
4 stalks of celery, trimmed and chopped
1/2 onion, peeled and chopped
1/2 red bell pepper, trimmed and chopped
several cups of water
1/2 cup of tomato puree
Salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon of  paprika
A dash of cinnamon powder

In a 3 and 1/2 qt. sauce pan cover lentils with 4 cups of water, bring to a boil and simmer for ten minutes with the lid on.Then drain the water and keep lentils on drainer.

Using the same sauce pan, heat olive oil, add chopped celery and onions. Stir fry for 2 minutes at medium heat.
Add chopped peppers, cinnamon and paprika, and stir fry for 3 more minutes. Then add lentils, 3 cups of hot water, and tomato puree. Season with salt and black pepper to taste. Let the soup boil for ten minutes, then cover the pan  and reduce heat to low, simmer for 20 more minutes or until lentils are cooked. Never leave fire unattended. Add more water if soup gets too dense. However, when adding water, always add hot water to legumes, never shock them with changes of temperature or it will stop the cooking process. Keep and eye on the soup, and stir it once in while. Taste soup to make sure lentils are cooked. If not, simmer for a few more mintues.

You can serve this soup with pasta or rice, and a sprinkle of fresh parsley or pecorino cheese.

Buon appetito!!




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